President Edgar Lungu has challenged Zambians to be bold enough to confront things that have gone wrong in the country and Africa in order to enhance the fight against corruption.
President Lungu said Zambia and Africa need to do more to put a stop to corruption because it robs the country and continent of its development, security and stability in ending poverty and improving the welfare of people.
Addressing the nation on the eve of Africa Freedom Day, President Lungu said government has made tremendous strides in fighting corruption in the country.
The Head of State appealed to Zambians to take advantage of Information and Communication Technologies to conduct business and make payments because such platforms can reduce face to face interactions between service providers and public as such meetings are great opportunities for corruption.
He said government will ensure that regulatory safeguards are developed on cyber security, cyber-crimes , data protection and e-transactions and e-commerce.
President Lungu said Zambia is a Christian nation and there is need for the citizenry to uphold Christian values and principles which are key ingredients in the fight against corruption.
He said the education curriculum has been revised to incorporate topics on corruption in order to create awareness and inculcate good morals in children from a tender age.
The president said as the country celebrates Africa Freedom Day, there is need to pursue public good over personal gain and fight vices such as tribalism , corruption and lack of patriotism that weaken cohesion and freedom of Zambians.
He said Zambians must learn and be inspired by the struggles and selfless service of the first wave of African leaders of the new and independent states.
The president said it is time that Zambia and Africa rekindle the spirit and belief of unity in the people as a heritage.
He said in commemorating Africa Freedom Day, there is need to recognize and honour that Africa’s founding fathers and mothers achieved political independence and laid a solid foundation for sustained socio-economic development.
President Lungu noted that Zambia has scored notable success in her implementation of the national anti-corruption policy which has seen mainstreaming of integrity committees and codes of ethics in various public and private institutions.
He pointed out that corruption does not only occur and affect government but also the private sector, church, civil society, political and traditional structures
President Lungu said government has continued to enhance legal framework for fighting corruption as evidenced by the review and enactment of the anti-corruption Act no 3 of 2012.
He said legislation on corporate governance has been strengthened and companies act repealed and replaced in 2017 in order to enhance transparency and promote high standards of corporate governance and financial reporting.
The President stated that the public finance Act no 15 of 2004 is being reviewed to improve accountability and management of public resources in order to address the challenges of misappropriation of public funds.
He said the public interest disclosure Act no 19 of 2010 for protection of whistle blowers and the plea negotiation and agreements Act no 20 of 2010 are being enforced to help fight corruption in the country.
The president said since corruption has a cross border dimension, Zambia has ratified the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating corruption as espoused by the AU Agenda 2063 and UN Sustainable Development Goals which all seek to combat corruption.
He further said that government will undertake social mobilization to engage traditional leaders and civil society to engage communities to promote mindset change against corruption.
Zambia and Africa celebrate Africa Freedom Day on May 25 and this years’ commemorations are under the theme “Winning the fight against Corruption; A sustainable path to Africa’s transformation”.